"It took me eighteen weeks to heal. I never did manage to breastfeed properly, either gross incompetence on my part or possibly my body deciding: what the fuck, man. My hair went grey. I didn’t try to ask for support, at least until I started showing PTSD symptoms and developed Postpartum Psychosis. The experience had taught us that I was essentially disposable, and I didn’t trust the hospital enough to return. I sought help from other services instead. I heard voices, ringing in empty rooms. I heard constant crying while the baby was asleep." [more inside]
Husband films wife giving birth in the front seat of the (moving) car. "Should I stop or should I keep going? [more inside]
An overview of folklore, religion and popular intuition surrounding childbirth, pregnant women, and young infants: abortion by aswang, blood-drinking Lilith, curses from witches, skeletal-faced spirits, and demonic births. content advisory: infant mortality [more inside]
"It's completely alone," I said. That baby, that poor baby. What had it done? "Nobody is coming for it."A meditation on adoption, heartbreak, and healing, by Sarah Church Baldwin for The Rumpus: Build-A-Bear.
Softly she asked, "Would it be OK if we called it 'her'?"
It was then as though my therapist's finger grew very long. It arced through the air, crossing the space between us, and touched my chest, the tip of it pressing into my heart, and my body collapsed around it, folded in on itself from pain, the worst pain I had ever felt because it had no source. I was the pain. I saw that baby on her back, alone, and I understood that she was me. In that moment I was flooded—intellectually, emotionally, physically—by the very knowledge I had so long barricaded myself against: that someone had given birth to me. And worse: that I had not been fit to keep.
'Photographer Leilani Rogers feels watching a baby come into this world is a "heavenly experience," and along her way to capturing 50 births she’s witnessed tender moments as well as seen things that are extraordinary and unusual. Take a look at her personal selection of favorite photos.' (Note: vivid images) [more inside]
Since 2006, Alice Proujansky has photographed childbirths around the world for a project entitled 'Birth Culture.' Her intent is to highlight 'the universal aspects of childbirth, elements that are culturally-specific and the struggle to provide women with safe, respectful maternity care.' Images: Photographer's site. NYTimes Gallery. Agnostica. Slate. Some photos may be NSFW.
On Sunday, July 13th 2014, Africa's Nobel Laureates in Literature balanced the eternal dance of life and death. On that day, Nigerian poet Wole Soyinka celebrated his 80th birthday with Presidents and paeans, even as South African author Nadine Gordimer passed away that night at age 90. Each, in their own way with words, took on the challenge of race and colour.
Sorry You Were Tricked Into a C-Section What disapproving friends don’t understand about cesarean births
Evidence Based Birth is a blog with articles by Rebecca Dekker, a PhD nurse and faculty member at the University of Kentucky, summarizing the best medical evidence for childbirth practices. To start, check out the table summarizing the state of US maternity care to see the differences between current standard childbirth practices and evidence based care. The topics page lists the currently available articles. [more inside]
This Little Girl Is Watching Her Own Birth For The Very First Time [totally SFW] A young girl watches a video of herself being born. Her face is amazingly expressive!
"If an NHS trust proposed today that it was going to introduce Viagra sales reps into men's genitourinary wards, or reps for walking aids to orthopaedic wards, the very least you'd expect would be some stout resistance. It is a measure of the strength of the association between "motherhood" and "buying stuff" that the presence of commercial representatives on maternity wards has been tolerated for so long."[more inside]
Statistics professor challenges midwives' math on home birth safety. This article includes links to multiple original sources so be sure to read (or scroll) to the end.
"Danger in the Ring." According to Karen, a doctor in the emergency room asked her over the phone: “Was your daughter using birth control?” Karen said, “Yes, NuvaRing.” He removed the device and said, “I thought so, because she’s having a pulmonary embolism.” [more inside]
The Odon childbirthing device Argentinian car mechanic Jorge Odon saw this party trick. It occurred to him it could help with difficult births. It seems he may be right.
Before the days of Roe v. Wade (and sometimes after) girls who got pregnant were sent away. Now one of the places that housed them is closing. [more inside]
With the price of raising a child rapidly rising, many people are choosing to go child free. This choice is seen by some as sensible and as selfish by others.
Videos of a chimp, elephant, and leopard giving birth or taking care of young, relying on instinct and what looks like pure love. [more inside]
“So when I was pregnant and about to give birth, I was expecting kindness, understanding, love. But, by god, was I wrong. They were torturers. They didn’t care. I was a thing. An experiment.” [more inside]
"Premature babies born at the edge of viability force us to debate the most difficult questions in medicine and in life. After just 23 weeks of pregnancy, Kelley Benham found herself in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with a daughter born so early neonatologist doctors would call her a "micro preemie." New technologies can sometimes keep micro preemies alive, but many end up disabled, some catastrophically so. Whether to provide care to these infants is one of the fundamental controversies in neonatology. This is the story of how Benham and her husband, Tom French, made the difficult choice: Fight for the life of their micro preemie baby or let her go?" [more inside]
“When I started to realize that that needed to get done in family planning, I finally said, OK, I’m the person that’s going to do that,”
Stan Brakhage on birth and death
*. [graphic childbirth and autopsy footage] (* previously - dead links) [more inside]
"Why Is the Teen Birth Rate in the United States So High and Why Does It Matter?" Kearney MS & Levine PB (2012) Journal of Economic Perspectives, 26(2): 141–63. [more inside]
Two researchers have reviewed the body of research on the effects of birth control pills on both women and men’s perceptions of attractiveness, and have come to some provocative conclusions. “If you don’t take into account society maybe we’re all animals, but in social situations I don’t think there are many women who change who they would mate with at different times of the month. It might change desires or perceptions but, gee whiz, that’s a long stretch to changing who you would date, or even who you would go to dinner with”
Birth of a Book [Vimeo] A short vignette of a book being created using traditional printing methods. For the Daily Telegraph. Shot at Smith-Settle Printers, Leeds, England. The book being printed is Suzanne St Albans’ 'Mango and Mimosa' published as part of the Slightly Foxed series. Shot, Directed & Edited by @Glen Milner
How can we better understand the interplay of nature and nurture in determining our personalities, behavior, and vulnerability to disease? Perhaps we should be looking at identical twins. (National Geographic January 2012 cover story) [more inside]
YOU are Invited to Watch My Natural Home Birth Live Online... Chiropractor and Natural Birth Coach Nancy Salgueiro announces plans to stream her homebirth live. Some videos of unassisted birth. Controversial anti-home birth blogger The Skeptical OB weighs in: "nothing says love, support and respect like an audience of strangers watching your crotch."
"I have been inspired to write a post about, what seems to be, the number one thing on every pregnant woman’s mind…POOP!". On Jezebel: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Pooping During Childbirth. The Poop Report (Your #1 Source for #2, previously) weighs in.
A rare black lion tamarin at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust gave birth by c-section last month (via). The c-section was necessary because, though tamarins usually give birth to twins, this mother had only a single baby that was too big to deliver naturally (adult tamarins weigh about 600 grams). [more inside]
One in every 8 babies born in the US is premature. A new study (pdf/via) published online Wednesday in Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology indicates that vaginal progesterone gel can help women who are pregnant for the first time and at risk of premature birth extend their pregnancies, reduce potential complications and boost the health of their newborns. [more inside]
Epidemiology: Study of a lifetime. "In 1946, scientists started tracking thousands of British children born during one cold March week. On their 65th birthday, the study members find themselves more scientifically valuable than ever before." [more inside]
Progesterone caproate injections have been used to reduce the likelihood of premature births in at-risk pregnant women for years. Up until now, the drug was custom-compounded by wholesale and specialist pharmacies, legally, but without federal approval. These injections cost between $5 and $15 a dose and were regularly reimbursed by insurance companies and Medicaid. Last month, the FDA announced their approval of a commercially produced version of the compound, to be marketed under the brand name Makena by a company called KV Pharmaceuticals. No stranger to controversy and trouble, KV barely survived a rash round of layoffs and wrongful termination lawsuits. Their former chief executive now faces criminal charges surrounding the company's failure to notify the FDA that they were producing oversized morphine tablets. (He could also do for a shave, it appears.) Now, KV has announced that the new drug will be available at a cost of $1,500 per dose, bringing the total pregnancy term cost of treatment to $25,000-$30,000, from its former cost of $250-$300, a 100-fold increase—but it gets worse... [more inside]
Sasquatch Birth Journal 2, "an unprecedented peek at the mysteries of nature." Perhaps NSFW.
“If the male partner withdraws before ejaculation every time a couple has vaginal intercourse, about 4 percent of couples will become pregnant over the course of a year" Which birth-control method is more effective: condoms or withdrawal?
What Happened in My Birth Year? If you have the patience for the slow onscreen text printout, you might find some interesting tidbits. [more inside]
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard introduced the Maximizing Optimal Maternity Services (MOMS) for the 21st Century Act on July 21st. This legislation proposed by Congresswoman Roybal-Allard of California is aimed at improving maternal and infant outcomes in the US. [more inside]
Kid who doesn't exist looks to future No birth certificate. No Social Security number. No official identity.
Nella Cordelia: A Birth Story (warning: sound)
The Birth Survey is a comprehensive survey of women who have given birth within the last three years. The first of its kind, it allows women to answer questions regarding their experiences with every aspect of their maternity care from the prenatal care to the birth to perinatal and post-partum care. Examples of questions include how long of wait there was between arranging the first prenatal appointment and having it, how long of wait there was for prenatal appointments after arriving at the office, what equipment was available during labor (birth ball, birthing stool, shower, tub, etc.), and if discussions regarding post-partum mood disorders took place during post-partum care. [more inside]
Does getting lucky at the prom equate to more Winter Babies? What does that mean economically?
Let's Panic About Babies! "Fortunately for everyone in the whole wide world, Alice Bradley and Eden M. Kennedy have created the only website that accurately explains the journey from morning sickness to third-degree tears to keeping that baby alive for a year–or more! LET’S PANIC ABOUT BABIES will serve as a salve to the mystery and degradation of this most female of challenges. Its authors may not have 'science' on their side, but what they do have is far more valuable: a heady mélange of female intuition, sentence-forming know-how, and the achingly vivid memories of their own gestational journeys and unending motherhoods. So join Alice and Eden as they tell you exactly what to think and feel and do on every one of your 2,681 days* of pregnancy. They know everything! * 'Science' would tell you that human gestation is actually, on average, 266 days. This is one of many ways in which science is terribly wrong." [more inside]
Is Barack Obama An American Citizen? "...because Obama’s claim to American citizenship is only supported by evidence and logic, he must not be an American citizen."
Kinda sutra - a charmingly animated short in which people talk about childhood misconceptions about sex and childbirth. More on childhood sex misconceptions from Dan Savage 1, 2, 3. (pretty tame clip, but possibly NSFW) [more inside]
At Sammy's at 2016 Main, on September 8, a historic jam session occurred, an impromptu reunion of many of the city of New Orleans's finest musicians. Each player who walked in the door was much more than a mere musician that night -- they were an affirmation of life. Not only did their attendance indicate that they had survived the storm, but their collective presence also indicated that their music would survive, too.The New Birth Brass Band (and friends) tears it the hell up in downtown Houston post-Katrina. The whole show is great, but if you're short on time, parts one and three are especially smoking.
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